How to recover from Adrenal Fatigue
You've been tired AF for a while now, and slowly you've come to realise the accumulation of sleepless nights, 'tired but wired' experiences, 7-cups-of-coffee days and bone-tired exhaustion are more than the result of yet another"busy patch".
If you've received a diagnosis of Adrenal Fatigue, by way of your alternative therapy practitioner or doctor, you've probably come to understand that the accumulation of stress in the body has finally lead to a state of crisis, whereby the body is now in primal survival mode screaming out for help.
What is it? Adrenal Fatigue is the name given to a collection of symptoms and related signs that results when the Adrenal glands function below the necessary level for optimal health.
Read about What is Adrenal Fatigue
Simple ways to help manage Adrenal Fatigue
But now, what can be done, where do you even begin to scrape your self up off that heap on the floor and start to put yourself back together?
Here are a few simple shifts you can implement into your daily life to help bring yourself back from burnout and recover your Adrenal system.
The basic answer to healing burnout, which you don’t want to hear when faced with Adrenal Fatigue, is simply to remove the stress. However, in our modern, busy lives, how is that even possible?
Luckily there are dietary and lifestyle changes that can be easily implemented which have a positive effect on reversing the severity of Adrenal Fatigue.
Reduce caffeine intake
Coffee lovers, we're sorry, but it's time to try and ditch the caffeine kick, because that exactly what it is doing, kicking your nervous system into action and overstimulating a system that needs to be in a restorative state. Rather than actually helping you right now, it is depleting your energy sources, and tricking your body into thinking it has energy (which it doesn't) and not allowing the body to function on its own rhythms.
If cold turkey isn’t an option, first start with reducing slowly or substituting for lower caffeine products such as Matcha or herbal teas.
If your gut hasn't been functioning to its optimal capacity, you may be missing out on receiving all of the vital nutrients and vitamins you are already fuelling the body with through a balanced diet which nourish the adrenal system.
Through strengthening the function of the gut, which can include monitoring food intolerances if applicable, or incorporating gut-happy foods – such as probiotic rich sources – into your diet, it is possible to increase the absorption of vitamins and nutrients and boost your system back up.
Limit sugar intake
Excess dietary sugar is controlled by cortisol, so when you over-indulge in sugar you are indirectly taxing the adrenal glands. Additionally, the inevitable crashes that follow a spoike in blood sugar can lead to further sugar cravings and energy depletion, which in turn often leads to reaching for other stimulants, such as coffee, to help counterbalance the level of fatigue.
Balanced intake of Macronutrients
Ensuring you have a balanced ratio of proteins, fats and good carbohydrates in your diet is a good way to remain satiated and keep your energy levels high, without causing spikes in your blood sugar over the day.
It can also be beneficial to incorporate a mentality of "food as fuel" which can help shift your mindset to view your dietary input as a way to nourish and support your healing progress.
Supplement with B vitamins*
B vitamins support and nourish the adrenal system and can help rejuvenate and replenish a depleted system. Known as the energy vitamins, incorporating B vitamins into your diet, through both dietary and supplementation sources, can help feed and nourish the adrenal system and provide a natural boost of energy back into the body.
Include Adaptogenic Herbs*
Incoporating adaptogens into your diet can help nourish, support and sustain your adrenal and endocrine system, whilst also enhancing a balanced and optimally functioning mind and body. Easily added into smoothies, teas or baking recipes, Adaptogens, such as Sun Potions Ashwaganda, can be a great supplement to help boost your vitality and overall wellness.
*always consult a registered practitioner before adding new supplements into your diet.
When dealing with Adrenal Fatigue your sleep patterns are generally already out of sync and though you may feel exhausted all day, come bedtime you could feel wide awake and wired. To help combat this, it is extra important to address issues of insomnia and sleeplessness by trying to implement regular sleeping rhythms.
Some ways to help regulate your sleep patterns? Try getting to bed before 10pm and addressing key areas of Sleep Hygiene - such as a dark room, a pleasant sleep environment and relaxing bed-time rituals – which can help increase the quality of sleep.
The right kind of exercise
When experiencing Adrenal Fatigue, it is important to really closely monitor your exercise levels, particularly when in the advanced stages. Reducing the amount of strenuous exercise, including HIIT or long-durations of cardio – which already tax the nervous system in optimally functioning bodies – may increase the levels of burnout and fatigue.
Rather, look to incorporate nourishing practices such as Yin Yoga, Pilates or LISS walks, which have a calming effect on the nervous system and can help replenish your energy systems, boosting your recovery pathway.
It may also be of benefit to exercise earlier in the day, not only can this help kick-start your metabolism, it may enhance your sleep patterns later in the day and evening.
Build rest + relaxation into your day
Rest is probably the most important factor to address in the healing process of Adrenal Fatigue. When you have reached the depths of burnout, taking the time to actively rest and allow yourself to recover, is crucial.
Resting is a practice that can be difficult to begin with – you undoubtably got to this point by always being on the grind and pushing to move forward – that will have lasting benefits to your health and wellbeing. When learning to say no to extra commitments or taking rest days from exercise, it can be helpful to it is important to actively build periods of time reserved just for rest and relaxation into your daily schedule, just as you would usually schedule in meetings, or workouts.
Resting doesn't always just been relaxing on the sofa (though it certainly can), practices such as meditation, gentle yoga, breathing exercises or mindfulness activities are great ways to implement rest into your schedule and provide some much-needed headspace and recovery time.
Shift your perspective
In order to implement long-term changes, it may be important to consider fine-tuning your perspective and mindset. Often we reach burnout from a consistent push to hustle and fit more things into your schedule. Asking yourself "What is your definition of success" is a simple way to start to address this as often it is the pursuit of success which leads to burnout.
If you feel like you connect with any of the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue make sure you reach out to your trusted practitioners and doctors before commencing any treatment or supplement programs on your own.
Cover Image PC: Instagram/@sweatwithbec